Nimona shows up in the lab of villain Ballister Blackheart, claiming to be a sidekick sent by the Agency. Ballister insists he doesn’t need a sidekick, but Nimona is eager to show her worth. She is able to shapeshift into any animal or person, which comes in handy when Ballister’s former friend and current nemesis, Ambrosius Goldenloin, bursts in with a group of squires whom Nimona quickly kills. Despite proving her strength and skill, Ballister is hesitant to accept Nimona as his sidekick, especially when he realizes she lied about the Agency and volunteered to be his sidekick of her own accord. He changes his tune when the duo discovers the Institute, which employs Ambrosius, is hiding experiments with a potentially hazardous substance. Nimona and Ballister decide to expose the Institute and get back at Ambrosius, who betrayed and injured Ballister years ago. Nimona quickly becomes a target and Ballister has to decide whether to trust his old friend or the orphaned girl who looks up to him as the hero he always wanted to be.
I loved everything about this graphic novel. The illustrations, the characters, the setting, the story…all of it. The illustration style is sharp and cute and was what first drew me to this book. Nimona is a spunky girl with brute strength and a dark past who is still trying to overcome the trauma of her childhood and find acceptance. Ballister is a reluctant villain who is still dealing with his close friend’s betrayal, and Ambrosius tries to justify his actions while he still cares for the friend who’s supposed to be his arch nemesis. Ballister first acts as a reluctant boss to Nimona but grows to see her as something of a daughter, and it’s sweet to see their relationship grow. You root for these characters even as their missions pit them against each other. I also loved the setting. Nimona takes place in a kingdom with peasants, jousts, science fairs, and 24-hour news channels. It was uniquely geeky and fun to see a story that would traditionally have a strict medieval setting also have modern amenities. This quick read will make you feel cheerful and yearn for more.
Rating: 5 out of 5 games of World Domination
2016 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge Categories: A Graphic Novel, A Book That’s Guaranteed to Bring You Joy